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Daily CSR
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‘Take In Information, Process And Make A Decision’


Flexing the gut check muscles taught Whitford to learn from lessons that are “playing out around us all the time”.

Dailycsr.com – 29 January 2019 - Jeffrey Whitford, the Head of Corporate Responsibility and Branding at MilliporeSigma, recounts:
“I recently had two pertinent reminders about my gut—and no I’m not talking about my microbiome, though this is an increasingly hot topic for us at the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germanyi.
“I often have a continual, inner dialogue with myself. This may be a side effect of being an only child and figuring out how to entertain myself, or a sign of something else. A lot of that dialogue comes from an attempt to be better in practice at reflection and learning lessons as they’re happening—allowing me to implement feedback in real-time”.
In a blog Whitford expressed that although the notion of drawing inspiration from movies could be debatable, for him one movie line in particular seem to fit the bill when it comes to decision making, whereby he quoted:
“I take in information, process and make a decision.”
Certainly, this seems to be a simplified process. Furthermore, Whitford has openly expressed his “distaste for data”, for he feels that “it’s not an absolute”, although he makes use of them when the need arises. From his personal life experience he draws the same conclusion which included even his career decision of joining journalism as a part gut feeling and part from his guidance counsellor’s advice. And he added that:
“It was, without question, one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made (aided of course by Ms. Moore). Thank you, Missouri Method.”
Furthermore, Whitford thinks that we must have a balance of the kind of people we associate in life, whereby terming the same as “people radar” as an indispensable EQ skill. And he considers himself lucky on that front as he met with “a diverse group of people”. Recounting another experience, he mentioned about a board room presentation, wherein he talked about “branding and advertising”.
One board members present there made a difference to his life as she “dissected and destroyed” his works in “the most constructive way possible”. This helped him to understand all the things that he knew “were off” but he was unable to put a finger on them. This urged him to know this woman more and Whitford added:
“Eleven years later, Carol Williams is still doing life with me through good and bad. She thoughtfully shares insights on how I can accelerate my development and forces me to dig deeper—reminding me to be ready for the tough questions”.
Therefore, Whitford says one needs people in their life who can pull us out of our “safety nets help us avoid blind spots, strengthen our decision making framework and flex those gut check muscles”. Learning know recognise one’s gut feelings in a consistent manner “takes a lot of work”. However, Whitford writes:
“I’m a firm believer that there are lessons playing out around us all the time. The need to pay attention and learn from them goes back to my framework of taking in information, processing and making decisions. Some things can’t—or won’t—have data attached and, depending on your line of thinking, that can be a means for a minefield or a ripe opportunity to flex some different muscles”.